Colonial Craft, a manufacturer of hardwood millwork, was recognized with the Occupational Safety/Health Perfect Record Award from NSC and the Minnesota Governor's Outstanding Achievement in Safety Award.
The facility earned these awards by demonstrating continuous improvement in its safety programs, reducing OSHA recordable injuries, and working from Oct. 29, 1997 through Oct. 29, 1999 without encountering a single incident that involved time away from work.
"Even though we added a third shift, several new employees and a new finishing system, we were able to significantly improve our safety and health record," said Bonnie Burke, safety and environmental coordinator. "Thanks to a dedicated safety committee made up of trained and committed representatives from the maintenance, management and production departments, our employees do a really good job of following the safety rules."
More than 450 Minnesota workers are injured or become ill from job-related causes each day with annual workers' compensation costs of $1 billion, according to the Minnesota Safety Council.
Colonial Crafts attributes its success in safety and health to its safety program.
Some components of the program include monthly "Safety Walk Throughs," where employees and supervisors come together to identify potential hazards.
The company's "Safety Recognition" program allows for quick abatement of hazards as well as rewards for employee suggestions about safety.
"Continuous safety and health training involves all employees," said Burke.
New employees attend a two-part, four-hour safety orientation including a Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (A.W.A.I.R.) plan, emergency response, machine guarding, lockout/tagout, right-to-know and ergonomics.
NSC's Perfect Record Award recognizes 42 principal industries throughout the United States and is available to all organization and international members of NSC that achieve at least 150,000 hours without a case involving days away from work or death.
The annual Governor's Safety Award spotlights Minnesota employers with above average safety records. Participants submit injury information, which is compared with state and national data, as well as the entrant's past performance.